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American Experience
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History & Documentary Program Previews

More than Steel: The Lake Champlain Bridge Story

More than Steel: The Lake Champlain Bridge Story

Watch Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 10:30pm on WMHT TV

For over 80 years the Lake Champlain Bridge between Crown Point, NY and Chimney Point, VT provided a vital economic link between the two states. Its unique and elegant design, which complimented the gentle rolling landscape, also made it a loved and celebrated landmark that defined the entire region. But in the fall of 2009, local residents were rocked by the revelation that the bridge, which had served as a lifeline for generations, had to be closed and demolished.

Narrated by multiple-Emmy award winner Derek Muirden, More Than Steel provides an in-depth look at the history of the Lake Champlain Bridge, from the ancient and colonial past on the site of its construction, to the massive design challenges and opening ceremony attended by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. The documentary includes rare archival film and interviews with local residents who share some of their most beloved memories in the shadow of this modern marvel – from fishing near its piers, to the role of its toll booth attendants as area tour guides, to its starring role in a Hollywood film. Finally, the program highlights the response of state and local governments to the bridge closure and how communities rallied together for a suitable replacement. 

The monumental building that was supposed to last forever was destroyed after 53 years.

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